Indian state-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) is firming up a proposal to buy approximately 33% in an Egyptian deepwater gas block from Royal Dutch Shell.
"Talks are at an advanced stage. Very soon a high-level government panel will take a decision whether to allow ONGC to go ahead with the offer or not," a source involved in the planned deal said, according to Gulf News.
The value of the possible transaction was not known. The deal for a stake in Shell’s North East Mediterranean Deepwater block is not being opened to bidding, and no swap arrangement between the two firms is involved, an industry source said.
Shell has announced the block, in which it holds 84%, has probable reserves of 15 trillion cubic feet, according to a US Department of Energy website.
The block holds initial in-place reserves of more than 1 tcf with "sizeable upside", the industry source said.
Malaysian state oil and gas company Petronas owns the remaining 16% in the deepwater concession, which was awarded in 1999.

(Gulf News and Reuters)